GUTERSLOH, Germany: European media conglomerate Bertelsmann is believed to have received at least four bids for its music publishing arm BMG.

Among the interested parties are Universal Music and Warner Music Group plus Viacom, which has partnered with private equity firm Apollo, and US entertainment entrepreneur Charles Koppelman, who has teamed with Chicago buyout firm GTCR.

The auction of BMG, which owns the copyrights to songs by Coldplay and Christina Aguilera, could raise up to €2 billion (€2.57bn; £1.34bn) and help defray the costs of an €4.5bn share buyback.

The Mohn dynasty and allied foundation who control Bertelsmann opted to acquire the 25% stake from Groupe Bruxelles Lambert earlier this year after it proposed flotation of the stock [WAMN: 31-Jan-06].

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff